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December 29, 2005 - The Santa Fe New Mexican

The sparkling wines of Spain

It’s a very curious idea, competing with Champagne. Paris’ preferred bubbly is the only one worth its salt and it has the market pretty well covered on the pop-a-cork instant celebration, n’est ce pas?

Clearly, thoughts like these could only have come from someone who hasn’t visited Spain’s Catalan region. Here, it’s another ball of wax. Or another bottle of sparkling wine, as a few hours in Barcelona proves.

December 27, 2005 - Agence France Presse

Catalonia’s Cava bubbly chasing champagne’s tail in exports

“It used to be considered more hip to get champagne when you took a girl out,” says Jaume Gramona. “That’s not true any more.”

Certainly not in Catalonia, where Cava has a near-religious following. Its biggest success is its ability to bridge the gap between celebration and affordability. It has managed to bottle champagne’s excitement—keeping that special occasion festivity to it—without the special occasion prices.

December 26, 2005 - The Miami Herald

Spain’s Sparkling Secret

It’s peak production time for Cava, Spain’s sparkling wine, and a handful of small producers here are hoping to boost the bubbly’s appeal outside the country.

Though practically unknown in the United States except under the two biggest export brands, Freixenet and Codorníu, that’s not the case in Spain.

December 22, 2005 - Agence France Presse

Barcelona tapas bar serves paradise in a can

In another life, he would have been a cocktail wizard or a mad scientist. Instead, he’s Barcelona’s culinary king of canned food.

At Quimet and Quimet, one of Barcelona’s best tapas bars, Quim Perez not only turned the idea of tapas—Spanish finger food—on its ear, but he did it by using nothing but high-quality goods preserved in metal.

December 19, 2005 -

Cava Uncorked: Sparkling Interest Abroad

The sound of a wine cork being popped is one of the consistence pleasures of dining in Parisian restaurants; everyone within earshot enjoys a quick grin. The big “pop” of Champagne, on the other hand, causes people to look up and see what is being celebrated. Spanish sparkling wine brand Cava wants that pop to be heard more often.

December 14, 2005 - Agence France Presse

Spain’s ‘Doctor Mushroom’ always on call

“You’ll have to excuse me for a moment. A doctor in Girona has called for help because some people ate the wrong mushrooms,” says Doctor Enric Gracia before disappearing into the bowels of the University of Barcelona’s biology department.

“It reminds me of cases we saw a few years ago in France and Poland where a few people died,” Gracia says a while later, en route to the hills above Barcelona to pick mushrooms for a course he is teaching.


November 6, 2005 - The Santa Fe New Mexican

Fine, French and ... Casual?

A gang of young French chefs rewrites the rules in the diner’s favor.

November 3, 2005 - The Christian Science Monitor

A howl of a time - Counting wolves in France

GAP, FRANCE – The setting fits the story. The Southern Alps of France lie between Cézanne’s Provence and Mont Blanc in a space where you can see both the painter’s flowing landscapes and the jagged caps of Europe’s highest mountain.

The area is also where much of the country’s wolf population resides. The animals, which reappeared in France only a few years ago, are stuck in the middle of a controversy over whether or not they should be allowed to stay.

October 12, 2005 - The Indianapolis Star

Julie & Julia: Cooking up A Tribute

A little more than a year ago, Julia Child died and the world lost the person who taught millions how to cook and have a good time doing it. Instead of TV chefs effortlessly blazing through recipes so complex we never bother trying at home, or cookbooks that are little more than eye candy, Julia taught us how to have fun, mess up, and then recover and enjoy ourselves while we mastered the art of French cooking.

She left an enormous void.

Enter Julie Powell…

September 28, 2005 - The Chicago Tribune

Julia and Julie: A tale of two cooks

Surely any book based on the idea of cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s kitchen classic, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” (reduced to the gut-cringing acronym “MtAoFC” in the book), must be all about food, right?

The answer is not so cut and dried.

September 18, 2005 - Agence France Presse, The Globe and Mail, Expatica

Stars? We don’t need no stinkin’ stars

Top French chefs trade in Michelin stars for bistro ambience.

September 5, 2005 -

Has French Wine Outgrown The AOC?

Believe it or not, even the French have trouble picking out wine. Like non-French consumers, our Gallic friends are known to scan the wine aisle, glassy-eyed, wondering what is what, what goes well with what, and what is any good at all. Incroyable, non?

July 25, 2005 - The Star-Ledger - PAGE ONE

Lance’s Grand Finale

Cyclist claims Tour de France title, rides into retirement.

By Joe Ray, For the Star-Ledger

May 29 , 2005 - Agence France Presse

French relish all-too brief asparagus season

The seasonal delight that asparagus brings is shared in French hearts with only two other delicacies: spring’s gariguette strawberries and the first perfect oysters of the fall.

May 4, 2005 - The Miami Herald

Michelin to review Big Apple

Perhaps the Michelin Red Guide is looking for greener pastures. Or maybe just something new to chew on.

After three straight years of less-than-flattering press in Europe, particularly in the Red Guide’s home country of France, the French gastronome’s restaurant Bible is now inviting itself to dinner in New York. Starting in November, the guide will become an arbiter of where to dine and stay in the Big Apple.